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Holy See, Polish bishops demand respect for newly appointed Archbishop of Warsaw

.- The Holy See today republished a communiqué from the Polish Bishops Conference, along with one of its own, in support of the recently appointed Metropolitan Archbishop of Warsaw, Bishop Stanislaw Wojciech Wielgus, currently of Plock, Poland.

The press releases came in response to stories in the Polish media, which say that the newly appointed archbishop was a collaborator with Soviet occupiers in the middle of the 20th century.  

The President of the Polish Episcopal Conference condemned the “public injury that has been inflicted against a specific person's right to a good reputation.”

"The situation that has been created,” he said, “provokes even greater unease because it is a clear example of 'wildcat lustration' (lustration being a technical term to refer to the procedure for attributing responsibility of collaborating with the security services of the communist regime).”

“Such a situation is particularly offensive in the case of an ecclesiastic. In fact, the simple fact of a conversation taking place between a priest and members of the communist security services cannot of itself prove immoral collaboration; especially because, not infrequently, such conversations were of an administrative nature, or had to be undertaken for pastoral reasons or to study, and with the consent of the bishop,” the prelate added.

"We thus request that respect be shown for the decision of the Holy Father Benedict XVI, who has expressed his faith in the person appointed, entrusting him with the office of metropolitan archbishop of Warsaw,” the Polish bishop’s message said. “Expressing our solidarity with Archbishop Wielgus, we entrust his person and the task he has been given to God.”
 
"We trust that the media storm that has been created will not ruin the religious and family atmosphere that accompanies the Feast of Christmas."

Communique from the Holy See Press Office
 
The Vatican added its own support saying, "the Holy See, in choosing to appoint the new metropolitan archbishop of Warsaw, took into consideration all the circumstances of his life, including those regarding his past. This means that the Holy Father nourishes complete trust in Archbishop Stanislaw Wielgus and, in full awareness, has entrusted him with the mission of pastor of the archdiocese of Warsaw."

According to Polskie Radio, investigative journalists from the Gazeta Polska weekly have found documents from the communist archives, according to which the newly appointed archbishop metropolitan of Warsaw, Stanisław Wielgus, collaborated with the communist secret services for over 20 years, informing them about the activities of the Catholic Church in Communist Poland.

The Polish radio broadcaster also reports that Archbishop Stanisław Wielgus has denied the accusations against him. He says he kept in contact with communist era secret service but never actively collaborated against the Church.  Wielgus claims that the documents produced are fake. 


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April 24, 2014

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